After Acquittal, Skies


When it’s finally over, when it is finally said that

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How do we sleep the first peaceful sleep and smile the grandly uninhibited smile?

There is no longer the slightly weak excuse: that it is hard to think about running  while one is running, that it is hard to theorize about the mechanisms that enable running (our bodily functions, our will or motivations to run, the complex meanings of our running and so on) while one is doing the very act of running. I guess it was Eagleton who used this example and a weaker, general guess is that he used this in explaining something about the link between theory and practice, experiences and making sense of them.

(Conversely, there is Lenin, at the end of “State and Revolution,” speaking about the 1917 Revolution — “It’s more pleasant and useful to go through the ‘experience of the revolution’ that to write about it.” – and in the process also subtly speaking about the sweetly complex relationship between theory and practice. There must be no fuss privileging one over the other; there must be pus when we collapse one to the other.)

Will I side with Eagleton or with Lenin? But it is a different context now: there is no literal running, there is no immediate revolution.

After running for a libel case, where do we go, what do we do?

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There is this picture taken at the Justice Hall on the day of promulgation and can we wax nostalgic, or should we just bask at the victory?

The heaps of paper can paint the justice system: how bulky it is, how archaic, how slow, how greying (often literally: tumanda ka na, wala pa ring desisyon sa kasong kinakaharap mo). And seen from a different perspective, when victory has been announced, when acquittal has been affirmed, they appear less as literally heavy burdens than as consequences that have been confronted, and now surpassed.

After experiencing an ordeal of a libel case, how do we make sense of it?

Or: After In the course of experiencing an ordeal of a libel case, how do we make have we made sense of it? (Theory and practice evolve together; one does not come after the other.)

Not at the back of our heads, we know there was powerplay at work, how the entire incident expresses and concretizes an all-too-big Term that we usually use in describing the education system: Feudal. And the surprise in, if not the comicality of it all stems from this: feudal education manifesting in a university that prides itself as having academic freedom. Both the surprise and the comicality of it must be taken productively. This is how the system screws us, and better be surprised if it results from general assumptions expanded. It is okay to laugh mockingly at the comicality of the event if it preludes taking the event seriously.

We all know that the education is feudal (also: colonial, commercialized and fascist – as the always-vibrant slogan affirms). We all know that the justice system can be as trying as the circumstances of the disputed crimes themselves. But all these too familiar bits of knowledge get twisted when they twist us in our sweaty flesh; subsequently, we also twist our comprehension of it.

It is trite to state this truth: the personal is political. But the inverse must be as veritable and invective: the political is personal. Ruing how the “political” has become, has sounded too heavy and heavy-handed, CrimethINC people came up with this proposition in “Days of War, Nights of Love”: “Make politics relevant to our everyday experience of life again. The farther away the object of our political concern, the less it will mean to us, the less real and pressing it will seem to us, and the more wearisome politics will be.”

Politics pervades our everyday frolicking and coming-and-going. Politics is not just about Laws and Violence Against Women and International Relations and the Free Market. More aptly: politics is about how these big things permeate and make up our daily experiences and conversely, how we grapple with and confront these big things as we live.

The political is personal and for four, five years, Jesa and her all-too-little but all-empowering friends stared at the nerve-wracking workings of the justice system in the eye, stared at the wearying workings and effects of a feudal education system. In the end, we sort of cried, but we were full of joy.

We have won something last September 22. The Judge spoke of Jesa having a “bright future.” The papers at Justice Hall will be missed and our eyesights will not be dimmed. The run is over and before using Marxism or French post-structuralism to make sense of it; we will savor the sweetness of our sweat from running.

We are calmer now and we had silence shortly.

We did away with the lengthy reflections and revelled, revelled here

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